Drop in number of carrier bags dispensed in Northern Ireland's shops

Charges have been in place for carrier bags in Northern Ireland nine years.

The Northern Ireland public spent over £2.7m to use plastic bags in the past year, new Stormont figures reveal.

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, revealed there has been a drop in the number of carrier bags handed out.

Five million fewer carrier bags were dispensed in the last 12 months, compared to the previous year, according to the figures.

This was 8.9% lower than the previous year, with around 51.2m carrier bags distributed.

The carrier bag levy in Northern Ireland has now been in operation for nine years.

In April 2022, the carrier bag levy in Northern Ireland was increased from 5p to 25p.

At the time, Retail NI said that the increase would disproportionally impact working families who were struggling with the cost of living.

In April, UTV spoke to shoppers in east Belfast to see what they thought about the price rise:

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